How to Make a Frame Satchel Handbag

Written by mike marcoe
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How to Make a Frame Satchel Handbag
You can make frame satchel handbags in several shapes and styles (handbag image by Cristian Ilie Ionescu from

Making a frame satchel handbag is a challenging but rewarding experience. There are numerous styles of handbags and clutches with hard frames and handles. Whether you purchase a pattern or design your own, once you finish making your first frame satchel handbag, making your next one will be easier.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pattern
  • Purse frame
  • Material
  • Chain for handle (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Needle and thread
  • Chalk
  • Hot glue and gun

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  1. 1

    Design your satchel handbag pattern. Determine if you will need the frame components for the entire outer rim of the purse or the handle pieces, or if you will make a frame satchel bag with a frame around the body of the bag using a chain-type of handle. The variety of frame satchel handbags and other purses that you can make is vast. If you have difficulty making your own pattern for a smaller satchel-style bag, consider purchasing a pattern at your local craft store or locating a free pattern online.

  2. 2

    Purchase purse frame, material and other supplies. Purchase a sewing machine if you know how to use one. If you are comfortable doing so, purchase items for hand stitching your handbag. Purchase reference books if desired.

  3. 3

    Set up your materials and supplies in a work area where pets, visitors, or children will not disturb things.

  1. 1

    Lay the material out on a table. Using a piece of chalk, trace the pattern components on the material. Cut the pattern pieces out of the material and set aside.

  2. 2

    Sew the pattern pieces together with machine or by hand as instructed for the particular pattern you use. Remember to sew the materials together inside out.

  3. 3

    Turn the body of the bag right side out. Work the body of the bag in to the bag frame, or settle the closure part of the bag in to the metal frame opening pieces.

  4. 4

    Attach the body of the purse to the outer frame or metal closure pieces using hot glue and a hot glue gun. Try not to bunch or pucker up the corners of the bag when fitting it in to the satchel frame. If attaching frame style handles to your bag, you will have to stitch the material around the handle frames separately. Stitch the handle parts to the body of the bag. For a satchel bag that has a chain strap attachment, you will need to sew separate material to the ends of the chain, and stitch those on to the body of the bag.

Tips and warnings

  • Be creative when making a frame satchel handbag. Try a variety of handbag styles. Be willing to alter your pattern design if need be as you progress in the handbag-making process. Consider buying metal purse frames and ornament components by recycling them from vintage or used handbags.
  • If you are unable to find the materials or supplies that you are looking for to make your frame satchel handbag, do not give up. Search thrift shops and vintage stores for used handbags that you can take apart and from which you can recycle the components. Do not be afraid to take chances by designing your own frame satchel handbag patterns.

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